MWI’s SolarPedalflo pumps in Malawi: An Update

  • Post category:Pumps

The story of pumps that just won’t quit.

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa. Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique surround it. It is home to Lake Malawi, which is over 360 miles long, and contains more fish species than any other lake on Earth.

But that massive body of water is of little help for much of the estimated 18 million people who live in Malawi. Vast parts of the country remain unimproved. Water lies below them, but there are no resources to dig wells. And there are few pumps to bring the water to the surface.

The quest for water

Imagine that your only source of water is a mud puddle, a third of a mile away from your village. Many Malawians have no choice but to spend hours each day walking with containers balanced on their heads to collect this water.

Mostly women and their young children join them. As soon as they’re able, these children carry water-collecting containers, too. So much time is spent getting water that there’s not much time for anything else.

Many Malawian women can’t, for example, spend time developing skills to improve their standard of living. For the children, there’s no room for education.

The water they spend so much time collecting is for basic needs. Drinking, cooking, and bathing. But it’s not potable. Much of the water can expose an entire village to waterborne diseases, and some of them are life threatening. Malawians need a better option – one that can work effectively and consistently in local conditions.

A testament to durability

MWI’s patented SolarPedalflo is an innovative rural water-supply system. As the name implies, the sun powers it with solar panels. Or, on cloudy days or at nighttime, water can be pedaled to the surface.

The pump can produce 12,000 liters of filtered, chlorinated, and pressurized water. With the sun as its primary power source, the pump completely eliminates the need for an electrical connection.

The SolarPedalflo features an 85-gallon pressurized storage tank. With its single borehole, it will outperform four hand-pumps. There’s even an option to add an overhead tank for even more storage.

A solar miracle

One of the SolarPedalflo’s unique characteristics is that it can operate in low light conditions. This is possible because of a linear current booster that runs the half-horsepower pump motor.

During overcast days or at night, it’s human powered. A pedal system that looks just like a stationary bicycle is used to drive the SolarPedalflo. It’s connected to an MWI borehole reciprocating piston pump. A flywheel acts as an energy-storing device, making pedaling so smooth and uniform that even young children can use it.

The needed alternative to hand pumps

Hand pumps have been a staple for developing countries, but the pumps lose their efficiency and become difficult to use when employed in wells at depths of more than 45 meters. In contrast, the SolarPedalflo continues to operate at water depths of 55 meters.

Sustainable Development Goal

The Government of Malawi was one of the original signatories to the historic Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations in September 2000. One of those goals required the government to reduce by half the number of its people without access to safe water by 2015. Unfortunately, four million people in Malawi still lacked access to safe water as of April 13, 2015.

On September 25, 2015 the member states of the United Nations, including Malawi, voted unanimously to replace the Millennium Development Goals with 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 is the operative goal pertaining to the availability of safe and affordable water. This objective requires the Government of Malawi to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030. And the only way it can be achieved is for the government to undertake a comprehensive program whereby SolarPedalflo units would be assembled in Malawi, installed, and maintained for a period of years to guarantee their sustainability.

Partners in making a better world

MWI is proud to be able to supply the patented SolarPedalflo in order to help guarantee that the Government of Malawi will meet its obligations by 2030. For more details, see Our SolarPedalflo pump is unparalleled in its efficiency. These pumps have been used throughout the world to help communities that struggle with access to safe water for drinking and cleaning. Learn more about the patented SolarPedalflo here.

At MWI Pumps, our sales, rental, and equipment repair divisions are dedicated to providing the resources to move water in any way or quantity needed. To learn more about our products and services, visit our about page or contact us today.